Monday, July 30, 2007

BigLap and the Power Settings

One of my coworkers pointed out that my laptop wouldn't really be named Kijamaa unless I executed "sudo hostname -v Kijamaa", so that's done.

Now, when I got Kijamaa, it came back on immediately when I opened the lid, and all I would have to do is type in my password. It also got very hot. Both of these things were due to the default power settings being to just turn off the display when I closed the lid. I went to Preferences/Power Management on the System menu, and set it to hibernate on close. That worked great; now when I open the lid and hit the power button, it spends some time coming back to life (there's some error with the progress bar, but it doesn't hinder me) and there I am, back in business.

I'd like to change my settings so that I needn't hit the power button when I open the lid. Let's see.

8:33 PM Kijamaa back up after I failed to get a window three times trying to execute 'Power Management' and Firefox crashed loading http://newyork.citysearch.com. Rebooting gave me the Power Management window (and a searchable citysearch), but there's only an option for what to do when the laptop shuts, not when it opens.
8:35 PM Start checking Ubuntu Unleashed, the book I bought with Kijamaa. It helpfully mentions a program acpi. "sudo acpi -V" gives me
Battery 1: charged, 100%
root@ubuntu:~# acpi -V
Battery 1: charged, 100%
Thermal 1: ok, 46.0 degrees C
AC Adapter 1: on-line
I guess if that's what I wanted to know, it'd be helpful. "man acpi" tells me
acpi Shows information from the /proc filesystem, such as battery status or thermal information.
so, I don't think that's it. It stands for advanced configuration and power interface, but doesn't seem to provide it. "gnome-power-preferences" is the name of the tool I set my laptop close behavior in, so let's see if we can find out more about that. The book suggests I start with http://www.linux-laptop.net and http://www.tuxmobil.org. The 'Advanced Power Management' section of the latter's Linux Mobile Guide suggests "dmesg | grep apm", which gets me [ 27.008000] apm: BIOS not found. That can't be good. "apmd" gets me No APM support in kernel. So, OK.

9:05 PM Finished reading Put Your Laptop To Sleep at Linux.com. The news isn't good.
To exit the hibernated state, simply power on the system normally.
'Power on the system normally' doesn't sound like 'open the lid.' What happens if I power down and then open the laptop?

9:17 PM Nothing happens. I have to hit the power button. So, that sounds like what I have to change. I got a phone call (and a text message!) in the interim, so I have to discharge a task ...
9:36 PM OK, that's done. How do I get the laptop to turn on when I open the lid?
9:43 PM Ubuntu forum posts are conspiring to make me think this won't happen. Does Microsoft Windows do this? Let me check...
9:47 PM No. I have to hit the power button after opening the lid on Windows XP as well. Strange. But, OK. I'm giving up on this task as well.

2 comments:

Jim Carter said...

After suspend-to-disc the machine is powered off, dead as a doornail. This is great if your battery is low, but it takes 30 to 40 secs to write kernel data to disc so don't try it if running on fumes. Also there's no chance that opening the lid will wake up the machine; you'll have to hit the power button.
Maybe you would prefer suspend-to-RAM. This can be done in under 5 seconds, and wakeup is almost as quick. A full battery can keep the RAM alive for 200 hours (on my laptop). And speaking to your issue, the default is usually for lid opening to wake up the machine, at least it was on my laptop (Dell Inspiron 6400).

Rionn Fears Malechem said...

Thanks for stopping by the blog, Jim. I want to avoid 'standby' mode because I'm trying to be a responsible user of electricity ;)

I was going to spend a little time seeing if there were a hardware setting that would treat opening the lid as hitting the 'on' button, but it's not as high a priority as getting bluetooth working, for one.